Feb 21, 2011

Frosting on the Cake

Welcome! Welcome!

I hope this winter hasn't left you too frozen for those who have had the winter blast as we have had here in St. Louis! Ice, snow, and wind greeted our new year and decided to extend its greeting all the way into February!

On our first big blast of winter, instead of staying inside with warm drinks and a blanket, my barber husband and I headed out, to our beloved Forest Park for a few quick pics and we spotted this frozen pine, completely covered in ice. 

It was mother nature at her best. Trying not to slip on the ice, and trying to hold the camera still, as I shivered and shield the lens from the tiny bits of blowing ice, I managed to snap a few. Here a couple for you...and then on with some news...

But I digress...What I would really like to do catch you up on a few things. Last December was fun as I got to go to NYC to participate in Where Women Cook's premier issue's book signing - which was a blast! It was held at Chelsea Market, a great place that I wish I could have spent tons of time in! I can't believe all the times I have been in NYC and I have been only blocks away, and never stopped in! 

But before I get going with all that I do want to thank Jo Packham and Loralee Choate for featuring me this week on Where Women Cook's website as one of the women in the premier issue. This site features one woman a week who appeared in the book and you get to learn a little about them, their history, a new recipe, tips, and lots of photography!

Just when you think you knew all about me, I have my bio up that deals with my love for cooking. Most don't know that I have a love for cooking and always have since I was very little. So, if you want to read a little about my cook side and growing up with a mom who really didn't cook well, click on Where Women Cook and discover lots of recipes and tips! As you can see below, we weren't starving, but we didn't sit long at the table either, enjoying a big tasty meal by the looks of our skinny legs! Below is a sneak peek at what is to come this week! You have to watch the website all week to get the recipe, tips and more!  :-)

Left to right: Bill 4, Me 5,  Louisa 7, Andrew 9 (Poor Andrew, Mom could never keep up with his growth and we don't have one picture where his pants didn't look like the dryer got the best of them....)

Now, back to NYC, the book signing and Chelsea Market...thanks for letting me squeeze in the "commercial announcement" but I got a feeling I will be gabbing a while and most of you will poop out, and click off (don't blame you) before I get to the WWC website that is currently up this week!

The Chelsea Market was the National Biscuit Company in the 1890's and now it is home to independent vendors of food, breads, wines and small restaurants! I was in such a rush, and only had a chance to take only a few photos as I had my weekend crammed with lots of fun things. But below are a few photos..

I was fascinated by the industrial interiors and this elevator!

And then I walked past this window!  Bread making company! Wouldn't love to just steal the bread sacks!

I was in a rush because I was meeting one of my bloggers for the first time - this blogger I love because she is so devoted and always leaves me comments and I am SO BAD when it comes to names, and yes, believe it or not, when you comment, I will click on your site because when I see your name, I think....hmmmm....now who is Oprah again? And go click on her name again to see who she is again....okay...not that Oprah ever clicks on my site, nor that I would need to click on her site to remind me, but seriously, I really need to click on people's name to remind me. 

So, all these years, poor Claudia, faithfully writes me beautiful comments, and all these years, I still click on her site when she comments and as I do, I am thinking, Claudia? Claudia?... and as SOON as I click on her site, I ALWAYS get a big smile and then I literally say out loud to myself...OH! CLAUDIA WITH THE BLUE GLASSES!  I JUST LOVE HER! I swear, I do that every single time and if you look below, you will see why I love her....every time I see her photo, no matter what mood I am in, I smile at her in her blue glasses!

This is my favorite photo (from her blog) of Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage

And so she lives an hour or two outside of NYC and took a bus to the city just to meet me and I was so flattered! And I felt like we have known each other forever! We talked and talked and the time went by way too fast. She loves dogs, big time, just like me. Has a background in theater, like me, and I think, we probably would have never ran out of things to talk about. She loves to take photos (very creative and she has a house in a really cool town) and you really need to her blog, which is super cool, and please tell her I sent you. I was heart broken when I got home and finally had time to down load my NYC photos only just recently could not find one photo of us together! I was shocked, actually. 

Actually, I had very few photos at all with all the rushing. I know Claudia and I tried several times to get someone to take out photo together but everyone was buzzing around, it didn't happen and I didn't discover that until just recently. That is the one thing I will say that I don't like about being a photographer, it is pretty darn hard to get my own photograph taken with people. I didn't get one photo of me with Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) or even Jo Packham! I do remember trying to hand my camera off to someone, but it is very hard to get someone to snap a big camera or to get someone who will at least try to take a good one. The few that I did get are blurry!

UPDATE (FEB 23rd): Claudia wrote to me and emailed a photo that she had taken with her camera! Yeah Claudia!  So, here we are at Chelsea Market:

Isn't Claudia beautiful? I love her hair and who would have guessed such dramatic features behind those blue glasses were waiting to pop out? (I still love the blue glasses.) Thank you Claudia for sending me the photo!

But here are some photos that I took and the ones of me, my friend, Bob, my NYC friend from my college days, who is also a playwright, came to the rescue and snapped a few when he came to pick me up (I had to leave early) so we could drive down to Philly and see the premier of his reading of his play he wrote about Deborah Franklin (Ben Franklin's wife).

Vintage aprons everywhere!

The line was forming when I showed up and it was fun when the ladies turned and recognized me. Something I had not even thought and what a nice surprise. Made me feel like a mini celebrity for one afternoon!

Setting up the room

I am so glad Bob caught these photos.

I got to sit between Mamma Agata of Italy and Suzy Eaten !

The line was still around the corner when I had to leave!

Right after the signing, Bob and I drove three hours to Philly to hear his reading of his play and then attend a special event held in his honor afterwards. I forgot to mention to you that the night before, Bob had asked me to read for him with another actress from a different play he wrote for his play writing class in NYC. It was on off broadway, so technically, I could say that I have yes, "performed" in a play on Off Broadway! Bob told me later that they were impressed that he "carted in" a real Southerner to play the role he wrote. Haha.

While in Philly, we stayed with Bob's friend, Mark, who is an artist and art teacher who also happened to create the dioramas for the Brandywine museum's latest exhibit. The museum is owned by the DuPont family. Mark, also as a hobby, works with the DuPonts and their horses carriages and is friends with a DuPont family member. So after viewing Mark's art exhibit, he, Bob and I went to a tree trimming party at one of the DuPont estates and viewed the carriage house before it got dark. I didn't take my camera into the home, but I did snap a few quick pics of the horse carriages - I didn't use a flash, but I did get some photos:

These are the lanterns that go on the carriages   

Mark and Bob behind Mark's house

The house where Mark lives on the third floor, in Oxford PA

It was my birthday weekend in NYC, and it was busy and rushed, but what a fun weekend it was. My barber husband had surprised me by sending me to NYC for my present. He had no idea that it was weekend that was about to be filled with so much excitement. Bob and I go back to our college days and I was in his very first play he ever wrote. And now, many years later - I won't say how many - here I am, reading for him again, and seeing his first commissioned play being read professionally in Philly. And now here he is, taking photos of people lined up, waiting for me to sign a book that I am in, all in NYC. Bob had said this was not a coincidence that these two milestones happened on the same weekend. And we got to top it off by attending a tree trimming party at a DuPont estate - not bad way to celebrate....

....but actually....my favorite part? Was the grocery store cake that Mark and Bob bought and brought into my room and we all ate it in bed for breakfast and celebrated all of our artistic accomplishments: my book signing, Bob's reading, Mark's exhibit and mainly, friends celebrating with laughter on a cold, rainy day, in PJ's, in a drafty attic apartment. It wasn't quite the DuPont estate, but it was very grand indeed.

From my house to your house


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